If you have enjoyed watching Yuen Biao kicking
his opponents around in previous films, you should love watching him do
the same with a soccer ball in this odd but quite funny film. This film
mixes together some very fancy footwork and some amusing antics to create
a pleasant and enjoyable film. Now I find soccer (or football to most of
the world) as interesting to watch as an Al Gore campaign speech, but if
soccer were as much fun as it is in this film I would be a huge fan. At
times the game approaches something closer to kung-fu soccer as the teams
truly battle it out on the field.
Yuen begins the film as a farmer off in the provinces
and he displays some great moves in picking up the eggs and performing
other chores with his feet. Yuen soon gets into trouble by making a local
big shot look a bit silly and he is forced to leave his uncle (Eddie Ko)
and run off to HK.
Here he quickly runs into a dishonest lottery
salesperson Moon Lee and her brother, Cheung Kwok Keung. The brother
sees Yuen kick a ball and even though Yuen has never played before he asks
him to join his team. It looked like Moon was going to have a fairly big
role, but unfortunately she vanishes about halfway through the film.
Yuen also manages somehow to have a run in with
both a watermelon and the number one HK club player, Dick Wei, and Wei
ends up with his face smeared in both melon and mud. Later Yuen tries out
for a soccer team that turns out to be Weis and he is accepted, but only
so that Wei can torment him. Yuen becomes the ball boy but again he has
a few scenes in which he shows amazing kicking skills whether it be kicking
towels into the lockers or balls into a basket from 20-yards away. Eventually
events drive Yuen to join another team and of course the inevitable showdown
comes about. This game is a clash of banging bodies, dirty tricks, incredible
footwork and more fun than any World Cup final that I have seen.
Both Yuen and Wei are simply amazing with a soccer
ball. Both perform some wonderful dribbling, passing and shooting routines.
Yuen has the Pele back to the goal kick over the head shot down to
The film has some very funny physical comedy and
sight gags along with a few minor fights. I am not sure who thought of
putting Yuen and Dick Wei into a soccer comedy certainly an oddity in
HK films but it turned out to be a terrific idea.
My rating for this film: 7.0
Kari, the foremost Yuen Biao expert in the
world (and perhaps the only one!), was kind enough to send me the following
information regarding the differences between the video format and the
vcd version. I regretfully saw the video version.
"The cuts in the Tai Seng version occur, as
I recall, in the locker room after the match which YB wins for Dick Wei's
team by mistake -- there's a longer fight in the vcd version; in the dance
hall, where a fight between Suen/Lee Tong and King has been excised; in
the scene where their car is ambushed (again a longer and rather more vicious
fight); and when Eddie Ko Hung turns up at the mansion -- there's a scene
where he throws the trophies around and beats YB, which Suen then joins
in on. There is also a very short scene between Moon Lee and YB near the
beginning, with them talking very innocently outside her home just before
he is invited in for the first time (I can see, just about, why the fights
were snipped, but this one is just weird).
Of the YB films which are out on both vcd (or
dvd) and tape, I think this one has the most disparities (discounting Righting
Wrongs/Above the Law, the two versions of Zu, and Shanghai Express, all
of which have both 'Hong Kong' and international versions. These Merry
Souls [aka From the Great Beyond] has more comedy scenes from Eric Tsang
in the vcd version)."